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When Did You Last See Your Father? by Blake Morrison

(7 Posts)
Mishap Thu 17-Apr-14 18:37:47

I have been devouring this book and just have to recommend it to others.

This is my review for the village mag........

What an extraordinary book! Having lost my own father in the last year, I was riveted by Morrison's poetic and honest account of his father's decline and death. Morrison too is “baby-boomer” and describes that post-war era of make do and mend with great panache. His father, like mine and many others of his generation, relished a saving – any chance to get one over on the establishment and get something for nothing. My Dad put “stick-a-soles” on his slippers, designed and fitted his own central heating system, and swept his own chimney – getting stuck on the wet roof (wearing the aforementioned slippers) while trying to retrieve a jammed brush by dropping down a brick on a rope. Happy days! Morrison's father was cut from the same cloth, designing and constructing his own retirement house, inventing assorted items like outdoor sleeping bags and devices to hide the contents of chemical toilets, and generally finding ways to save money and avoid paying out. The book opens with a car full of the Morrison family blagging their way past a traffic queue and into a motor racing event without paying – a triumph for Dad and a source of excruciating embarrassment to his young son. I could identify with that! Morrison's description of his father's physical decline and the extinguishing of a determined and seemingly indestructible personality struck so many chords, as I am sure it will for many. If you remember the 50s you will enjoy this book, in spite of the inherent sadness in the narrative, as it is a tribute to that generation of stoical personalities who rose above the traumas of global conflict and the privations of post-war Britain, and went on to provide for their families with a combination of ingenuity and single-mindedness. Definitely a book to recommend.

MiceElf Thu 17-Apr-14 18:54:34

I got it on Kindle last week for 99 pence. Not sure if the offer's still on.

Mishap Thu 17-Apr-14 19:06:52

That's where I got it! - and at 99p!

rosesarered Mon 21-Apr-14 20:00:43

Thought this was going to be a historical novel [English Civil War]!

Eloethan Mon 21-Apr-14 21:03:09

This is one of my favourite books - the opening that you mention was in one of the Sunday papers when the book was first published. I went straight out and bought it and it didn't disappoint.

There was also a rather good film made, with Roger Broadbent as Blake Morrison's dad.

Mishap Mon 21-Apr-14 22:12:55

I think it is Jim Broadbent eleothan and we have just sent of for it from Love Film. I am looking forward to it.

Eloethan Mon 21-Apr-14 22:35:32

Yes, you're right Jim Broadbent - don't know why I said Roger.